“U ok hun?” used to be a phrase that was used by middle aged women in the late 2000s on Facebook. Now, “hun” and all its derivatives (PM me hun, U ok hon?, not my problem hun, okay then hun) is coming back into our vernacular. But rather than exclusively being used by 40-something ladies interested in local gossip, it’s being used by everyone. It’s slightly sarky, it’s slightly condescending, it’s 100% hunreal. And, later in 2019 I finally got to thinking… what really is a hun?
The history of the ‘hun’
We’ve already explored the origins of the word, but the real history of the hun lies in the lifestyles of its original users. Back in the mid-to-late 2000s, the type of person who used “hun” was also associated with certain things. These things include – but are not exclusive to – having a cropped bob haircut; wearing Juicy Couture; shopping in Matalan, Wilko and Iceland; smoking 10 decks of Sterling Dual; drinking rosé (see also: prosecco); having above the lip piercings; Ugg boots; animal print; loving X Factor; wanting to speak to the manager; being obsessed with celeb culture; reading ‘real life’ magazines; and possibly being involved with very public custody battles on Facebook. The original huns are absolutely NOT to be confused with chavs, who drink cider in the park and fight outside McDonald’s. Original huns are a cut above. Famous examples of historical huns include Kerry Katona, Katie Price, Kat Slater off of EastEnders; Coleen Rooney; Nikki Graham; Mutya off of the Sugababes; and all of Girls Aloud.
Re-emergence of ‘hun’ into pop culture
In 2017, hun made its way back into mainstream pop culture. Used semi-ironically, it harkened back to a simpler times: the 2000s, when Brexit was nothing but a budget breakfast cereal likely endorsed by Trinny and Susannah; it was acceptable to be horrible to people for the sake of good TV; and the world of influencers had yet to be born. People on social media started using the phrase again, and the birth of Instagram pages such as Hunsnet and Love of Huns started making memes using the word. What started as a pisstake of early 2000s culture and the women who embodied it soon became part of everyday vernacular. Suddenly, “hun” was introduced to a new generation of people, some of which were after the birth of X-Factor and the financial crisis. It stopped becoming a pisstake and became part of modern language.
Huns in 2019
Hun culture is still alive and kicking, as anyone who’s been watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK will confirm. While the USA has gifted us with reality stars such as Cardi B and the Kardashian/Jenners – with their own associated words – here in the UK we have drag queens named “Baga Chips” and “Crystal Beth”. They do impressions of Kat Slater and use old-school phrases like “minge” and “you old slag”, embodying the spirit of the last decade’s hun. The recent Coleen Rooney vs. Rebekah Vardy drama could have been dragged from the pages of a 2007 OK! Magazine cover. Gemma Collins is the modern-day equivalent of Nikki Graham, with all her over the top diva ways that you love to hate. In a time of political uncertainty, where people glue themselves to train doors and kick off about vegan sausage rolls, we can still laugh at ourselves and everything that’s going on. The identity of a hun in 2019 is anyone who identifies as one. In the words of Tulisa: it can mean what you want it to mean. Whether you’re a sassy bitch who loves pornstar Martinis and smokes Marlboro Golds in Revs smoking area, or you’re a prosecco-chugging mum-of-three with a ‘Live Laugh Love’ tattoo, the word is universal. The word ‘hun’ is powerful, while simultaneously meaning nothing at all. If you turn your nose up at the word, you definitely aren’t a hun. But if you accept it in all its glory, it can be a beautiful thing.
All my love,
A prosecco-drinking, reality TV watching, Depop-selling, #TeamRebekah, #TeamTheVivienne hun xxx